Friday, September 05, 2003
Reasons to choose life
A motto that I have framed upon my wall, drawn from Deuteronomy chapter 30, always reminds me of my kids, and vice versa: "Before you this day is set good and evil, life and death. Choose life, that you and your descendents might live." Herewith, some specific reminders from today and this week:
This morning, before piling into my car so we could head for her school, my youngest daughter (age 8) spontaneously hugged me for at least a full minute. I can still pick her up easily, but the day will soon come when I can't. "Can you stop growing for a year please?" I managed not to say.
Earlier in the week, en route to said elementary school, my younger son (age 10) and I discussed at length his observations about the relationship between rarity and price-in-Neopoints of various items in the Neopets Virtual Pet online universe. At a red light, I sketched an X and Y axis and elicited his answers to graph a simple supply and demand curve on a napkin. He shrugged: Well, duh, Dad, that's pretty obvious.
Today I picked up my older daughter (age 12) from her middle school, where she'd been on a "casting call-back" for the school's upcoming production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, in which she's hoping for a modest speaking part; I, of course, think she's perfect for the lead. (This will be her third musical, having had chorus parts in Fiddler on the Roof and Brigadoon the past two years.) I was very relieved to see that not even the eighth-grade girls there had tongue studs, nor did they otherwise look remotely like the young actresses with digitally superimposed tongues in the new movie, "Thirteen." I resisted the urge to extract again the ritual promise from my daughter that she won't even consider a tattoo of any sort until she's at least 30.
Then, for the first time ever, I was a passenger in my own automobile as it was being driven by my oldest son, a young man of 15 who's taking Driver's Ed. I was calm, and limited myself to sidelong glances at him, and tried not to babble about my vivid memories from the night he was born. He drove very cautiously; he's still blazing the neural pathways that connect hand and eye and foot and inner ear. By Thanksgiving, when he's 16, I expect I'll have an impulse to make very different comments from the one I bit back today: "You can go a bit faster now, son."
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